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Understand the symptoms of mental illness

Editorial

It has been reported now in several media outlets that the level of prescribers for psychiatric patients is dangerously low.

The need far outweighs what is available for those suffering from mental illness.

What this basically boils down to is that patients are not adequately receiving the services they desperately need to maintain their mental health.

This has already resulted in many patients turning to the emergency room for medications, some of them then being checked into the mental health unit because their needs were not met and their mental health deteriorated.

Another sad aspect of all of this is the stigma of mental illness, a grave reality for many who are already suffering, their condition compounded by a society that often does not understand the symptoms they are witnessing.

It happens all too often with, for example, the clinically depressed. Loved ones, friends, colleagues, cannot understand why they cannot get out of bed and spend their days crying and in despair.

Individuals who do not understand this illness, often out of a desire to help, driven by fear though, will tell them to exercise, eat right, just get up and do something, not understanding why they are bed ridden and unable to muster the energy for what appears to them to be normal, every day and often simple tasks.

It happens to individuals with bipolar disorder, often after they have been swept away by mania and act out recklessly, impulsively and destructively. Those who witness the behaviors and who do not understand the illness, often treat the sufferer as though they were not succumbing to symptoms of their disease but willingly engaging in the behaviors that at times define their illness.

It is easy to see why there would be symptoms around mental illness. When people break their legs they are in casts and if they do not utilize their crutches they are likely to fall over and hurt themselves or someone else. But those around them understand that they have an injured leg, and that is why they cannot stand upright on their own.

Comments may be directed to denpubs@denpubs.com.

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